The Tempest was Pontiac's first foray into the world of compact vehicles in 1960. By 1964 the second generation was due and featured the A body platform, a design that was kept in use until 1997. That’s a whole seven decades after it was first introduced. You read that correctly.
Although a particularly detailed point that may appear unimportant, it was this platform that was the basis for one of the muscle car legends of the sixties, the GTO.
By this point, GM had already started growing their brand and model lineups at a rate that few could keep up with. With models popping out left, right, and centre, the model and trim options were pretty confusing.
A GTO is a Tempest with LeMans trim, and then finally a GTO upgrade. They certainly don’t market them like that anymore.
If we were to look at a GTO in the condition of the car featured here, it would be approximately double the price. So for a touch of bargain hunting, we found this Tempest LeMans listed by Unique Specialty and Classic Cars.
This one features the rowdy 326 cubic-inch V8 that develops 260 hp. At the time this was the best engine you could get in the Tempest and it was even fitted to the Firebird of the era.
The example here enjoys a beautifully contrasting color scheme of Nocturne Blue with Parchment interior, both believed to be original. Aside from an aftermarket tachometer the car is believed to be totally stock and makes quite a sleeper for those who wouldn’t associate it with the GTO DNA.
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